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Readout Of Secretary Napolitano's Visit To Panama City

Release Date: 
February 29, 2012

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

PANAMA CITY - Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner David Aguilar and Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for International Affairs Alan Bersin today traveled to Panama City to meet with their international counterparts, underscoring the United States government's ongoing commitment to collaborating with our international partners on combating transnational crime and working to ensure a more safe, secure and resilient global supply chain.

"We are committed to engaging with our partners around the world - including here in Central America - on efforts to bolster aviation, border and maritime security, combat transnational criminal organizations, and improve disaster preparedness and response," said Secretary Napolitano. "Today, we're strengthening our partnership with Panama by reaffirming the commitment of both Panama and the United States to secure the global supply chain against terrorist attacks and other illicit uses."

Secretary Napolitano, Acting Commissioner Aguilar and Assistant Secretary Bersin met bilaterally with Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, Minister of the Presidency Demetrio Papadimitriu and Minister of Security Raúl Mulino. During their meeting, Secretary Napolitano and Minister Mulino signed an agreement reaffirming the shared commitment of both nations to combat human trafficking through enhanced information sharing and collaboration, and another agreement on expanding participation in CBP's Global Entry program. Secretary Napolitano and Minister Mulino also issued a joint statement underscoring the two countries' shared commitment to securing the global supply chain, while facilitating legitimate trade and travel.

Secretary Napolitano also delivered remarks at the Integrated Border Management Seminar, reiterating the importance of international collaboration in aviation security, combating human trafficking, and global supply chain security through the Central America Regional Security Initiative and other partnerships. While in Panama City, Secretary Napolitano also visited Tocumen International Airport where she was briefed by CBP and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel who are providing technical assistance to help Panamanian officials to help identify, interdict, and investigate illicit travelers. DHS is currently assisting the Panamanian government in the creation of an Advanced Passenger Information Center, which will strengthen international aviation security through enhanced information sharing.

For more information, please visit www.dhs.gov.

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